CNN CEO Chris Licht shown the door after failing to rein in far-left staff and revamp network’s direction
Embattled CNN chief executive Chris Licht has been ousted by Warner Bros. Discovery after being unable to gain the support of a far-left employee base devoted to their former leader, Jeff Zucker. David Zaslav, Warner Bros Discovery CEO, announced the decision, acknowledging the job’s difficulty during a time of disruptive change.
Licht’s tenure began in April 2022 with the unsuccessful launch of CNN+ and the promise to change CNN’s culture, which had been laser-focused on undermining Donald Trump. Unfortunately, he made multiple missteps without addressing the existing loyalists to Zucker. His dull programming changes failed to halt the ratings decline.
One grievous error involved hastily introducing CNN This Morning, anchored by CNN’s lead propagandist, Don Lemon, a show that eventually led to Lemon’s departure. The Wall Street Journal reported that Licht’s attempts to reset the network’s editorial approach did not resonate well with viewers and that he was seen as aloof and arrogant within the network.
Licht’s push to restore CNN’s image as a trustworthy news source was met with resistance by an employee mob clinging to Zucker’s command. The challenge for Warner Bros. Discovery is to find a suitable replacement who shares their vision of steering CNN away from its recent fixation with partisan politics and biased coverage.
While CNN seeks new direction, expect the employees to revert to their open disdain towards Trump and conservatives, as Licht’s removal seems to signal the network’s return to its old ways.